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Inbound Sales & Marketing Analysis: What is Missing?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 12/26/11 9:55 AM

It Is Not Conversion Rate Optimization, or Even Smarketing.

In the past month, I have seen a lot of good content, led great "brainstorming" conversations, and reconnected with some that have seen big changes in the past year and are anxious about what next year holds for them.

But I have also had some say to me, "Why not cut your training price in half and just exclude the 1-1 coaching time? Not everyone can or will pay for expert advice targeted at their real needs. They just need to learn how to do this..., or use that software module..."

And like you, I have seen the 'Top 10 Things to Avoid' posts, the 'Will 2012 be the Year of the....posts, and yes, even the '#1 Thing to Increase Your Sales' emails.

Most of these are accurate and timely, factually sound in their tactics and recommendations. But something was missing, and it was bothering me.

When we opened gifts on Christmas I came across something that was written in 1976, it perfectly describes what I wanted to say.

Is This Missing From Your 2012 Business Development Strategy?

BostonBostonMy oldest son gave my husband an original Boston album. It was their very first. (The best part of the story was that he had found it at the dump recycling station the day before and it is in great condition.)

It is significant to our post for a number of reasons, all of which are listed on the back of the album:

What this means to your business is this; if we take the advice of Nathan Yerian, and "... focus on critical details like button colors, email subjects and landing page visuals to increase conversions.", then aren't we ignoring the whole and focusing on the parts? Of course, Nathan's focus is solely on software. He is simply focused on the tactical part of what the software can do. However;

Technology serves marketing (and sales). If you lead with the technology and don't know why you are using it, you are simply just playing with some very expensive toys.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Not seeing the forest for the trees?" It is a phrase that warns us of the dangers of only focusing on the details and as a result, missing the big picture. If we do not know the reason for the details in the first place, then you can end up doing a lot of work but never gaining any real insight into the thought process of your customer. Why does a red button perform better than a blue one? Isn't that the real question? How do you apply the math to make it relevant and actionable for true optimization?

  • Tom Scholz wasn't just a ego-crazy, control-freak, guitarist because he insisted that only he could do the recording and edit cuts. He was an MIT graduate with a Masters in Engineering. His hobby and true passion was testing out cutting-edge media technology in his basement.

Boston was a disruptor in their industry not because that is what they set out to be. They were disruptive because they were not followers, and would not let the larger corporation dictate how they should do it, or even when to do it. They were determined to do it how they knew was right, even if it meant doing it without the help of the large corporation. Thankfully, the leadership at Epic Records was humble enough to see they were on to something and let the band run with it, eventually even supporting it. Both the band and the record label won.

(I still ere on the side of giving people the benefit of the doubt. I also know that most people do not do something unless there is some benefit to them.)

The last paragraph of the album's back cover sums it up:

If you insist on having it further spelled out for you, consider this. What distinguished Boston's music is although it's by definition heavy rock & roll, it evidences a greater concern for melodic and harmonic flow than practically any band you can think of, working in the same general territory. Also, consider the use of technology as an instrument, all the more remarkable because this is a first album.

Of the tendency for technology to take over in the hands of lesser practitioners, Tom Scholz says, "It depends completely on the person using it. People have already fallen prey to that, in my opinion, with items they just go out and buy to get a certain sound without really understanding where that sound comes from and how to apply it."

boston 64 In case you have not gotten my inference yet, here it is in plain English.

No One Seems to Be Answering THE REAL QUESTION of: WHY?

Why are you testing? Why are you optimizing? Why are you trying to move the numbers? Why does one button color perform better than another? How does it relate to a better understanding of why your customer is on your website? Why might they want to buy from you?

If you are only optimizing and testing for a better conversion rate, you are missing the boat. In fact, you are on the pier and watching the boat pass you buy. Your vicinity to the large boat might make it seem like you are on it, but it is an illusionary trick.

If you are testing and optimizing for revenue, you may be on the boat but you aren't sure how you got there and where you are going or WHY you are going somewhere.

Optimization is not a list of rules or best practices, it is about digger deeper and always asking why.

Testing should be a means to the end of getting a closer understanding, and therefore relationship, with your customer. Optimization starts with the customer's thought process, not the webpage, button color or even headline. The internet is a lab to test your customer experience theories. Like any scientific experiment, you must operate with a hypothesis that is backed by sound research.

Plain English: You Need Experience and Strategy that is Customer Focused to Get to Real Business Growth, both in the short term and long term.

Do you want to optimize for persuasive momentum? Is your focus to get a yes at every point of your ideal customer's buying process? Is your ROI focused on long term business development growth?

Are you looking for specific and experienced business development help? Please, start a discovery conversation with us about your business vision.

Do you feel you need to learn more? Join us at one of our upcoming smarketing events or webinars. If you would like to catch up on what we have been doing, re-visit our previous sales and marketing events.

Do you agree with my interpretation? Are you daring enough to disagree? If you feel your blood pumping the day after Christmas, let's hear about it in the comments below! What am I missing or overlooking?

Topics: inbound marketing, inbound sales development, business development